- Jonathan Chum
Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is the country's most populous city and one of its most diverse. It has a rich history and culture---the sprawling city has been inhabited for more than 4,000 years! There are plenty of things to do in Jakarta if you like exploring different cultures and learning about different ways of life. Here are our top picks:
Relax in the fresh air at Taman Suropati
Taman Suropati is a public park in North Jakarta, with a total area of around 27 hectares. The park was established by Governor General Daendels in 1808 and named after its founder, Prince Urus Patra (also known as Prince Suropati).
The park once contained several neoclassical pavilions and other buildings---some were demolished after Indonesia gained independence from the Netherlands, while others fell into disrepair or were destroyed by earthquakes. Today's Taman Suropati contains just one structure that dates back to the colonial period: Joglo Sekar Lumajang (Sekar Lumajang Pavilion), which was built during the reign of Sultan Agung Sukarno between 1605 and 1613 but moved to its current location in 1904. The rest of what you see here today are modern structures designed to blend seamlessly with their historic surroundings---it's almost impossible to tell them apart from their historical counterparts!
Discover the culture at Monumen Nasional
Monumen Nasional (Monas) is a national monument in Jakarta, Indonesia. It was built to commemorate Indonesia's independence from the Netherlands in 1945 by Sukarno. The monument was designed by Frederich Silaban and inaugurated on August 17th, 1975.
Monas stands on Merdeka Square at the center of the administrative capital of Indonesia (Jakarta), on an artificial hill with its top at 30 meters above sea level. The stylized flame-shaped structure has a height of 60 meters, including its base which is approximately 4 meters high and 6 meters wide. There are two levels inside Monas - an entrance level with several halls where visitors can learn more about Indonesian history as well as watch films about it; and an upper terrace open to tourists who wish to admire views over Western Jakarta.
Experience the buzz of Ancol Dreamland
If you're in Indonesia's capital and looking for a fun time, Ancol Dreamland is the place to be. It's a theme park that provides entertainment for all ages and includes attractions like an aquarium, water park, and beach. The park has been around since 1986, so it's worth checking out if you have time on your hands. If you're coming from overseas (or even domestically), I'd recommend going on a weekend as they tend to be busier during business hours than on weekdays or public holidays when office workers aren't there. If it's your first time visiting the area but not sure what else there is around besides Ancol Dreamland itself then click here!
Enjoy a peaceful cycle ride at Ragunan Zoo
If you're looking to enjoy the outdoors while learning about animals and nature, Ragunan Zoo is the perfect place for you. It's located in South Jakarta and has a variety of different types of animals. You can take a peaceful cycle ride around the zoo or just walk through it on foot.
Old Dutch architecture at Fatahillah Square
Fatahillah Square is one of the oldest areas in Jakarta, and it's home to many historic buildings and monuments. The square was named after Cornelis de Houtman, who was the first governor of Jakarta. He established a warehouse on this spot in 1619, which was later used as a military base before becoming what is now known as Fatahillah Square.
The square's most prominent feature is the Old Town Hall building (now used by Bank Indonesia). The building itself dates back to 1749 while its tower was added around 1751 by Rijcklof van Goens. It has three clocks: one facing north that shows local time; another facing south that shows universal time; and a third facing east that shows Indonesian standard time (the same as Singapore). There are also several other historical structures within Fatahillah Square such as Christ Church, The Kebon Kacang Fountain Complex, Stadhuys Building (City Hall), Javanese Market Street (Jalan Surabaya), Sunda Kelapa Market Street, etc...
Great shopping at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town
Grand Indonesia Shopping Town is a great place to shop for souvenirs. There are a variety of stores to choose from, and there's even a food court.
If you're looking for something else to do besides shopping and eating, there's also a movie theater at the mall! You can see any new releases that are showing in Jakarta right now.
If you want to listen to live music while you're out on the town with your friends, check out one of the many live performances at Grand Indonesia Shopping Town during your visit!
Dive Tanjung Lesung Beach Club
Tanjung Lesung Beach Club is a great place to relax and enjoy the beach. You can rent a day bed, or if you want to splurge, the beach club also has private cabanas available for rent.
The location is perfect for those who are looking to get away from it all - there are no other places nearby except for more beaches! If you're feeling adventurous, there's also an option to go snorkeling in their large pool where guests can swim with sea turtles as well as try out water sports like jet skiing and parasailing.
Learn about history at the National Museum of Indonesia
The National Museum of Indonesia is a great place to learn about the history of Indonesia. The museum has exhibits and artifacts from every period in Indonesian history, including the Hindu-Buddhist era, Javanese kingdoms, Dutch colonialism, and independence movements. There are also dioramas depicting everyday life throughout each period.
You can visit the museum for free on Wednesday afternoons when it's closed for maintenance time (9 am--3 pm). Otherwise, it costs 20 000 IDR per adult or 10 000 IDR per student. The building itself was designed by Dutch architect Eliel Saarinen and opened in 1935 as part of Jakarta's Taman Mini Indonesia Indah theme park---the only remaining section after other pieces were destroyed during World War II bombings.
Get to know the locals at Sarinah Mall
Sarinah is a good place to get to know the locals. It's also a great tourist destination, and it has a large food court with plenty of choices for everyone. There's everything from Western-style fast food, to traditional Indonesian dishes such as bakso (meatballs) or satay (chicken skewers).
If you want to try some local cuisine while you're in Jakarta, Sarinah is a great place to start!
Enjoy a traditional meal at Warung Bu Mangku
Bu Mangku is a traditional restaurant located in the Kemang neighborhood, which is also home to many other great local eateries. The restaurant has been serving traditional Indonesian cuisine for more than 20 years, attracting locals and tourists alike.
Bu Mangku offers an affordable menu with dishes such as nasi rames (rice cooked with coconut milk and spices), sayur urap (a spicy vegetable salad), ayam bakar, and ikan goreng (fried fish). You can also order iced tea at Bu Mangku if you want something refreshing to drink while you enjoy your meal.
If you don't have time to go to all the places on this list, that's OK! But if you do have time, make sure to check out Taman Suropati and Ragunan Zoo. Both are great for relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery that Jakarta has to offer.